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d8 with rerolling 1s:
(4.5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8) / 8 = 4.9375
d8 with rerolling 1s and 2s:
(4.5 + 4.5 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8) / 8 = 5.25
Seems better than with d6s, actually.
Just a note — the distribution of d20 rolls is not the normal (Gaussian) distribution, but the uniform distribution. (This makes a difference; the normal distribution has many 10s and 11s but few 1s and 20s; the uniform distribution has as many 1s as 20s as 10s as 15s etc.)
Mark Hoover wrote:
Oh my god, that's EXACTLY the movie that popped into my mind when I wrote this!
Yeah, I like my settings to be rather more... organic. As you described. The idea that the PCs just never have the option of doing anything interesting in a city, for example, is offputting.
Yeah, I've always thought the West Marches concept is silly, for more or less this reason (and related ones):
1. There's no plot (or metaplot).
Come to think of it, West Marches might be interesting as a sort of existential horror campaign, where the PCs slowly realize that the world they are in is not real, has no existence outside of this one region; that even the "city" doesn't exist beyond the small trade district they've seen; and that they can't... ever... escape... no matter how much they try...
This thing here — an item set consisting of five items (two gauntlets, pair of boots, breastplate, helm). It was one of the major focusing points of an entire years-long campaign. (Detailed item powers redacted for length.)
The Grand Sultan of the efreet wore the Armor into battle during his campaign of interplanar conquest, but he was defeated by an alliance of Good-aligned heroes and creatures. The Armor was scattered across the planes; but many years later, parts of it began to find their way to the Material Plane...
The Armor of the Grand Sultan: Created by the late, half-human Grand Sultan of the efreeti to grant himself power and control over his recalcitrant subjects, and composed of several semi-independent parts, this armor is impressive indeed. Though the individual and synergistic powers of the set pieces are described at length below, wearing the entire armor grants several formidable and unique powers to its fortunate owner.
For one, the unified armor magically binds itself to its wearer, and maintains this bond regardless of distance. The first person to don the entire set becomes the armor's recognized owner; thenceforth, he may take a standard action to recall the armor to him, provided he is located on the same plane as all its parts. (Otherwise this power functions as the called armor enhancement.) The only way to unbind the armor from its owner is to kill him, then scatter the armor's parts throughout the planes.
When the entire armor is worn, all the onyx gems set into it (one in each glove and each boot, one in the breastplate, and three in the helm) are searing hot to the touch, and a bright fire can be seen burning in their centers.
Breastplate: This +5 breastplate is made of brass, but due to the intense process of its creation, is hardened to provide a +5 bonus to AC (+10 total with the enhancement bonus). The entire armor provides a +7 bonus to AC (+12 total with enhancement bonus). The surface is engraved with various arcane symbols describing powerful abjurations, and is decorated with flames dancing around the armor's edges. A large onyx gem is set into the center, directly above a human wearer's heart.
The breastplate's primary function being protective, it has a variety of functions related to shielding the wearer from the fiery doom that the other parts of the armor are designed to inflict.
Helmet: This elaborate brass helmet, which is set with three onyx gems, seems mostly decorative, and does not provide much protection. It is crafted, however, in such a way as not to obscure vision, and it is a comfortable fit for any Medium-sized wearer. When worn, the helm appears to burst into flame, giving off a continual flame effect, and making it effectively impossible to hide. This effect cannot be dispelled, and is not suppressed in any sort of magical darkness.
The simplest power of the helmet becomes obvious the first time the wearer lights a bonfire; the helm permits the wearer to see through mundane or magical fire and smoke of any kind perfectly; opponents obscured by such smoke do not benefit from any concealment against the helm's wearer.
The primary purpose of the helmet is control. It serves to focus the energies of the rest of the armor into coherent powers. When worn separately from the entirety of the armor, this controlling magic attempts to exert itself in strange ways.
Boots: These tall, almost knee-high boots are made of brass, and engraved with images of fire and smoke. Though they are entirely metallic, they are nonetheless comfortable for any Medium-sized wearer. A small onyx gem is set deep into the heel of each boot. When when the boots are worn, small wisps of dark smoke rise from them continuously, giving off a faint sulfuric odor.
Inspired and powered by the Paraelemental Plane of Smoke, the boots were designed by the Grand Sultan to aid in travel and, should the situation require it, escape.
Gloves: These brass gauntlets are too thin and flimsy to provide any real protective value, and a character wielding them is not considered armed. However, they are quite ornate, and a highly polished black onyx gem is set into the middle of the palm of each glove.
The purpose of the gloves is offensive in nature: the Grand Sultan imbued with them with the ability to generate elemental energy. The Quasielemental Planes of Radiance and Ash are the inspiration and source of the gloves' power.
Yes, this seems to work.
Ok, let's clarify, to make sure I understand what's going on. The character starts out Medium. The bastard sword starts out Large.
The Rules said wrote:
As I understand it, your player's argument (with my commentary in parentheses) is like this:
1. The bastard sword is a one-handed weapon, with which he is, by default, not proficient. (He cannot wield it in one hand, even with a -4 nonproficiency penalty; this is different from the way nonproficiency works with most weapons. See http://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment---final/weapons/weapon-descriptions/sword -bastard.)
When he enlarges with the weapon in hand, it enlarges with him; since the difference in the size category of weapon and wielder does not change, the above reasoning likewise stays unchanged.
Then, when he throws it, and it reduces in size, it comes back to him, now a Large weapon on a Large wielder. It remains a one-handed weapon by default (as bastard swords always are); he remains proficient with it (thus able, by default, to wield it one-handed); and it is now the same size as he is, thus not changing either of those things from their defaults. He can now wield the sword as a one-handed weapon with no penalty; he does not (while enlarged) incur the -2 penalty from wielding an inappropriately sized weapon.
As for the damage calculation... his Strength bonus is +5. (+6 when enlarged). Thrown weapons add 1x Strength modifier to damage. On a critical hit, that would be +12. Four levels of fighter get him Weapon Specialization (I assume), for another +2 (+4 on crit). That's +16. Where are we getting the other +8?
That aside, keep in mind that if your player were using a longsword instead of a bastard sword, those numbers would be very similar; a Large longsword does 2d6 damage, and a Huge one does 3d6. I'm not quite sure that I'd spend a feat on EWP, given those numbers, but otherwise, and contingent on the damage calculation being correct, the trick seems to work.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
And as a side note, I just love how this thread has become a RT debate rather than a 'Let's fix broken spells' discussion. Let's partay like it's 2000!
Right you are. Let us waste no more breath on rope trick. Instead:
Other things that need fixed.
I think that spells that grant immunity to things should go. Pretty much all of them. (I am open to individual exceptions, but can't think of any offhand.)
I refer to spells such as:
freedom of movement
In 3.5, these made you outright immune to grappling, death effects and energy drain, and mind-affecting effects and most divinations, respectively.
Pathfinder did a bit of nerfing. Death ward now makes you immune only to negative energy, not death effects (against which it only provides a save); mind blank gives a bonus to saves against mind-affecting. Freedom of movement still makes you immune to grappling.
I say all these spells should be nerfed; they should grant immunity to nothing. Spells, especially if they last a minute per level, 10 minutes per level, or 24 hours, should not just make you immune to things. Immunities are uninteresting; they just eliminate a whole swath of possible tactics. They disregard the relative power levels of opponents; they contribute to the annoying issue of fights with casters always, tediously, opening with dispels.
At a certain level, you are of course going to go into every major battle with freedom of movement, which means that grappling is entirely eliminated as a category of threat; many mid-to-high level creatures have grapple-based powers, which are all rendered entirely moot by this spell. You don't have to adjust your tactics to compensate; you don't have to plan with them in mind; you just cast this one buff, as part of your standard buff routine, and put it out of your mind. Mind blank? Of course you have it on; put it on your martials, and now an entire massive category of threats (all mind-affecting spells, of which there are lots and lots and lots) is eliminated from consideration. Expect any chance at all of facing undead? Death ward yourself, just in case. Why not? Now a whole swath of creatures can't harm you, at all, with their primary, defining powers.
Instead, these spells should function as either bonuses to saves, or buffers, or some combination thereof. Freedom of movement might give a +8 bonus to CMD and EA vs. grapples, for instance. Death ward, rather than granting immunity to negative energy, might function more like 3.0 negative energy protection, where the warded creature may roll a check against the attack, which, if successful, negates it (and deals positive energy damage to the attacker). Or it could be a buffer, similar to protection from energy, being discharged after some number of negative energy attacks. And so forth. I don't know, I'm just throwing out ideas. The point is, outright immunities: no.
The point isn't that the spell is problematic for doing exactly what it's supposed to do (like, uh, almost all spells...), the point is that what the spell does is inherently problematic.
Remy Balster wrote:
Exactly how much do people get done in 5 minutes?
Quite a bit, considering that 5-15 minutes is enough to cast all of your short-duration buffs and have several big fights, if you can get to them quickly enough. (Which, past a certain level, is trivial. Especially in a dungeon.)
My Kingmaker group cleared a small dungeon in less than 10 minutes recently. It was maybe 3-5 fights, of which a couple were large-ish.
And how fun is it to spend, literally the entire day, sitting in an empty void with nothing to do?
"How much fun (for the characters) is it to do this overpowered thing" is not any kind of a good argument. If the overpowered thing provides a massive advantage, then the players will do it. It's not like they're the ones who have to sit there the whole day; the characters are sitting there the whole day, while in real life, only as much time passes as it takes to say "we sit in the rope trick the whole day".
Besides, maybe they play cards. Maybe the bard entertains them all with songs. Maybe they get real creative with the munchkinry and the wizard scribes some scrolls while the archer fletches some arrows. Sky's the limit!
And who in their right mind would ever do that all the time? Or... like, ever?
Many people, much of the time. This is a thing people do.
Every minute you spend sitting on your butt doing absolutely nothing is a minute the world continues to tick on by, stuff happens while PCs waste time. Usually it is 'bad stuff'.
Usually irrelevant if it's a dungeon. (Most dungeons aren't very reactive.) And in general, not all adventures are that time-constrained.
And even if you are time-constrained, the constraint often is: how many big, buffed boss fights can you get done in a day? Continuing to adventure and generally walk around after you've expended your daily resources doesn't help you get more big fights done in a single day (in fact it increases the probability that you'll get into a fight and lose due to lack of resources, and death really cuts into your schedule) so you lose nothing, time-wise, by safely hiding in a rope trick.
And... the rope trick can be spotted, too. "The rope cannot be removed or hidden." So it isn't exactly the best possible way to hide. It is useful, certainly... but hardly problematic.
Well, keep in mind this wasn't true in 3.5. So yes, Pathfinder nerfed it a bit. (Although see my comments earlier in the thread about cutting the rope and so forth.)
Bad guys can just crawl on up into your rope trick while the party is all fast asleep. And then more 'bad stuff' happens.
Obviously you put someone on watch. Come on.
And since only one person can climb the rope at a time, and they can't even see the extradimensional window (and you CAN see them coming), it's almost trivially easy to surprise them with a nice gang-up the moment they poke their head into the space. After the first orc pokes his head up into nowhere, is promptly murdered, and falls off the rope, his face and head mangled nearly to unrecognizability with a combination of blades and spell blasts... how eager will the other orcs be to proceed? (And even if they are, you can go ahead and keep murdering them, too.)
Climbing up into a rope trick with the intent of assaulting the occupants is pretty much the worst idea, in short. Now, if you'd said: "A cleric comes by and dispels the rope trick" — ok, then we have a more interesting scenario. Still not spell-nerfingly catastrophic — but interesting.
Um, guys, the point is not that you use rope trick to regain spells more than once a day. That's crazy; no one is suggesting that (except you two, apparently), it's never been considered legal, and it's certainly not the source of rope trick's brokenness.
The reason the spell is broken is because you regain spells, go out and nova things for 15 minutes, and then spend the rest of the day just hanging out. And then when it comes time to sleep, or if anything threatening comes your way, you climb into the rope trick and sleep / relax in there.
To go back to my previous Ravenloft example, one of the things that are supposed to make that adventure scary is that spending the night in the castle is anywhere from spooky to terrifying; all manner of things roam the halls of Ravenloft at night, and they will come upon you while you sleep, quietly subdue whoever's on watch, and feast on your delicious blood / life energy / etc.
But if you've got rope trick, then all of that is moot. Anytime you feel like not exploring anymore, you just plop yourself down wherever you are and hang out, and when it's time to sleep, you all climb into the extradimensional space and sleep soundly, knowing that you're immune to anything and everything that might walk by. Heck, you can prepare three rope tricks (or make some scrolls) and have 24 hours of coverage at level 8! You are exposed to the dangers of the scary world of adventuring for exactly as many minutes in a day as you choose to be, and not one second more.
This whole business with regaining spells twice a day or what have you is one colossal red herring.
Night attacks aren't dickery, they are a completely reasonable threat when you're resting in enemy territory.
Meanwhile, the whole "the rope cannot be removed or hidden" stipulation is actually kinda strange, when you think about it*. Ok, so 16,000 pounds of force pulls the rope free. Then what? Does the spell end when that happens? Or what? What if, instead of pulling at the rope, you cut it? It's a regular rope, right? Just take your sword to it, cut it off? Or is the rope invulnerable somehow? If not, how close to the dimensional boundary can you make that cut? Can you just have a millimeter of rope dangling out? That seems like it'd be hard to spot, yeah?
*As is most magic-related rules text that says "you can't X", rather than "if X happens, then Y results".
The Arcatraz dungeon from World of Warcraft (Burning Crusade) could be a source of ideas.
See, the Arcatraz is an alien prison ship, once crewed by good-aligned aliens (who were forced to abandon ship), and inside are kept various creatures — demons, aliens, criminals. Some are in stasis (and the PCs might inadvertently, or intentionally, let them loose). Some have broken free, allied with others, and entrenched themselves in parts of the ship. Some are simply rampaging. There are also security robots, some of which are malfunctioning and berserk.
The aesthetics of the place are also pretty cool — all crystals and force fields and light.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Heh. Yeah, I don't actually advocate solving rope trick that way; it's just the simplest way to solve it without house ruling.
My favorite rope trick solution was one I instituted in a Ravenloft (original module, not setting) game I ran. You see,
Ravenloft is filled with this evil mist that, once you breathe it, you need to keep breathing to survive; if you leave Ravenloft before defeating Strahd, you immediately start to choke from the absence of the mist, and soon suffocate. (Destroying Strahd causes the mist to disperse and the affliction to be cured.)
So when the PCs cast a rope trick and climbed in, I told them they start choking. Turns out (thus I ruled), the mist won't diffuse past the dimensional boundary. There sure was weeping and gnashing of teeth that day, I tell ya what.
Wait, banning things is finicky? Or do you mean duration-nerfing? I don't actually think there's a way to boost things to 24hrs in PF, by the way, but if there is, then that's where the actual problem lies — balancing things by making them short-duration should be a thing, and an ability that lets you ignore the duration limitations of a broad spectrum of things is not balanced.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
As to what value RT has beyond breaking the game's already shaky balance -- it was originally merely another of the wizard's tricks, which may or may not have proven useful on any given day. It lasted mere minutes, so it could be a temporary escape from threats that didn't know the party's exact location, or as a means to spy on monsters who wandered by the invisible door, or even as a means to reach otherwise unreachable ledges and surfaces.
Hm, yeah, that all seems pretty situationally useful (and open to creative use, which is good). I think nerfing the duration would be a simple, straightforward, and therefore (imo) desirable fix.
Yes, yes, yes, and...er, gazebos are by definition open on all sides, so I don't know how to answer that last one. I'm being imprecise here because I've never actually used this house rule; if you did, presumably you'd be more precise. The point is to create a world where people know how to build fortifications in such a way as to block teleportation. And a campaign in which you, the DM, don't have to worry about the PCs teleporting directly into the BBEG's throne room.
My point there wasn't so much to ask you to peg specific cases (although just what architectural details demarcate the boundary between "house with large, open windows" and "gazebo" is an obvious remaining question), but to point out that your proposed solution requires the DM to come up with such details. I am not a fan of "finicky" solutions, ones that force me to make such detailed determinations, and to rethink and redesign things as basic as how houses are built; plus, do you really look forward to having your players ask you for the precise architectural descriptions of every location they find themselves in? I sure don't. I far prefer simple, "cut-the-knot" style solutions.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
"Enclosed", you say. How enclosed does "enclosed" have to be? Parapet of a castle: not enclosed? House with open windows: enclosed? Cavern system with no doors, open to the surface in places: enclosed? Interior of a gazebo (with thick walls): not enclosed?
I read it, I just didn't make the connection to the discussion of hazards and whatnot. I get it now.
It seems to me that a DM is well within his right to point out the "hazards" phrasing the first time the PCs ever use rope trick; and if they subsequently use it without stowing their bags of holding elsewhere, to hit the party with a planar rift — the closest rule-covered situation, after all, is the bag-hole interaction.
That said, if I were starting a campaign now, I'd ban rope trick outright. I admit there are modifications of it that would make it balanced — yours possibly among them (I haven't thought about it hard enough to make up my mind) — but unless it becomes clear to me what value the spell has other than a place to rest safely, I would simply avoid the work of balancing it, and just toss it.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
2. I see PF edited out the vague reference to 'hazards' in the rope trick spell, which is a step forward. (How many inane debates did we endure during 3.x involving the interpretation of 'hazard'?)
To what do you refer, here? I've never seen such a debate in any group I've been in, and I am curious what it could be about. Is it the bit about taking extradimensional spaces into the rope trick?
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
So... you can't teleport out of your house. Or into your friend's house. You can only teleport from outdoors to outdoors. But wait. Isn't there wood, metal, or stone between any two sufficiently distant outdoor locations? Like, trees? Rocks? The ground? Are we handwaving all of that away?
This has potential, but I get a "this will surely have issues that I can't think of right now" feeling from it. Bears consideration.
1. What is required to create the scroll? Where do you have to be? On the spot? How long does it take? Does it cost anything?
As for banning... I generally agree with not removing variety... but those two spells don't add variety in any meaningful sense. They just add power. They're not interesting. (In my opinion.)
And there's a bigger issue: if you commit to not removing variety, and also allow all Paizo material, then you make yourself a slave to the continual addition of variety (or "variety"). At some point, more variety is too much. Also, there lies power creep.
I think you can say "I will stick to core, and not remove variety", or you can say "I will allow non-core material, but I will be selective about all material I allow, core included"; but saying "I will allow all material, nonselectively" is setting yourself up for trouble.
Wait, what? My copy of UM has no such component... what are you referring to?
What do you think of my proposals? [...]
Teleport, coordinate scrolls: I confess I don't understand the mechanic. Could you clarify, maybe provide an example?
My immediate reaction is: this is too complex / too hard to understand a mechanic. I like simple, straightforward solutions.
Blood money: ban it.
Paragon surge: ban it.
There's no need for complex solutions to spells that aren't compelling enough to keep and do nothing interesting but add power to casters.
Charm, Dominate: requires more thought. Rich Burlew's Diplomacy rules may be part of the solution; I sort-of-use them myself.
Holy crap, that article is so bad. A DM instituting a set of suggestions like that would make me really angry. I would definitely not play in a game like that.
The only thing I like is the "ley lines" modification to teleport. Otherwise... UGH.
However, I do agree that there are problematic spells. When I'm not hurrying to catch a bus, I'll see about a list, with some suggestions.
Yes, the conversions of the White Plume Mountain weapons, and other old stuff, is one of the reasons why I love the A&EG like, this much.
(Also the vehicle rules.)
Oh, that's unfortunate! If this is a change, it's definitely one for the worse... I don't suppose you have a link to the relevant FAQ entry?
I disagree. I don't think the rules support it (sans feat), and with good reason. In fact, I'd say the RAW clearly disallows it. It definitely takes a house rule to make this work baseline.
In the campaign I run, one of the players created this item:
And its magical version:
It's not a stretch to make it work with rods also. You might convince your DM to let you have such a thing.
Good point! Combat Expertise also!
Right, if you are modifying the monster, then the BAB is important to know; if you're using it as-is, then it's not.
This is because BAB is one of those stats that is not used directly in any calculations or rolls during combat; what you actually use are stats derived from it, like total attack bonus, CMB, CMD, etc.
Other parts of a stat block that are "irrelevant" in similar fashion are unconditional* racial skill modifiers (because they are already rolled into the total skill modifier); the hit die line (i.e. a tarrasque's 30d10+360; all you need to know in combat is the actual hp total); and, interestingly, the creature's ability scores (excepting the rare case of needing to make a bare ability check; in combat this occurs infrequently at best).
*Note that conditional racial skill modifiers, such as a hyena's +4 racial bonus to Stealth checks in tall grass, remain relevant.
Yeah, that's also true.
One thing I don't see anyone commenting much on is that this rogue has a ring of protection +3, cost of 18,000 gp, at 7th level, when level 7 expected Wealth By Level is only 23,500 gp.
How did this happen?
If he built the character at level 7, the gamemastery guidelines recommend that
If he leveled to 7 organically, and bought the ring... did he sell all his other gear, to buy this? (Remember that magic loot is sold at half price!) Does he have a magic weapon, even?
A character who bends or breaks wealth guidelines will surely be at least a bit over-the-top in at least some ways. That's why the guidelines are there.
Profit to the source wizard by spell level, from allowing another wizard to copy from a spellbook:
Profit to the source wizard by spell level, from creating and selling a scroll to another wizard:
And sure, making scrolls takes time, whereas letting someone copy your spellbook does not... but then you have to lend them your spellbook... or sit there and watch them copying the spell. In any case, the profit argument doesn't wash.
Copying spells is as available as acquiring scrolls is.
Regardless of the preceding, this is a ridiculous assertion to make.
You could say: "copying spells should, logically, be as available as acquiring scrolls is"; or perhaps "it would make sense, given the economic incentives involved, for copying spells to be as available as acquiring scrolls is". But what actually is the case... could be something else. Due to other factors. Factors which might be DM- or world-specific, or simply outside the scope of this discussion.
Now, the availability of specific spells/scrolls is a DM prerogative, of course. But in any town where you can buy common scrolls, you should be able to copy wizard spells for the nominal fee. It's an accepted part of the standard game, and this NOT being available is a house/campaign rule, and so NOT part of the paradigm we're talking about.
Let me repeat: citation needed.
Accepted? Accepted by whom? The game developers? Where does it say this? Please actually cite some sources on this.
f you want to go back to the scrabbling-after-every-spell type of game, that's fine, I'm not saying that's wrong. But that's not the default game for PF.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
So don't scry a wizard. Scry an aristocrat, or an expert, or a fighter, or whatever. Wizards aren't the only people you can read about in books.
Yep, you are correct. I missed this part.
I'm a big fan of the student of philosophy trait, but even if the wizard has bad diplomacy, someone in the party should be able to lend a hand.
That is indeed an absolutely amazing trait, and I picked it up on the wizard I'm about to play. However, if you can safely expect other people in your party to have "face" skills, then there are usually other trait selections that are more worthwhile, and the majority of wizards I've seen don't have it.
Other people in your party might be able to lend a hand, but I would judge the DC for Bob to convince Wizard Sam to let Alice copy his spellbook to be higher than the DC for Alice to personally convince Wizard Sam to let her copy his spellbook.
Kain Darkwind wrote:
Note that Viv suggested finding a famous living person, preferably without access to detect scrying. This could be any number of classes, and possibly even low level. Not automatically a wizard.
Ah, indeed, that is a point I missed. That would work better, yes.
Moreover, I have not found that any wizard past a certain level walks around with detect scrying on them at all times.
Hm. I tend to play with / DM for paranoid wizards, I suppose. The wizard in the campaign I run went so far as to craft a custom item with a detect scrying power...
On the whole, Viv's ideas for gaining access to a city aren't particularly egregious unless one is assuming it is automatically possible, rather than possible to attempt. A lot of them offer interesting possibilities for the player and DM to explore.
I agree with this.
Vivianne Laflamme wrote:
If the DM rules that someone you know well and are on friendly terms with is unwilling to use share memory with you, even if you roll well on a diplomacy check, etc., then the DM is being an ass.
I'd just like to note that most wizards, to my knowledge, do not put ranks into Diplomacy (and have low Cha, to boot)...
I was all set with a clever retort to this, but after reading the Spellcraft skill, it seems that in Pathfinder, said skill no longer allows you to identify a spell you've just gotten targeted with after a rolling a saving throw against it... rather an unfortunate change, in my opinion.
HOWEVER, the clever retort remains, in a slightly different form: any wizard past a certain level is likely to walk around with detect scrying on him at all times.
So if you start trying to scry on some wizard you don't know, especially a higher-level one, you're likely to receive an angry counter-scrying, or sending, to the effect of "what the hell do you think you're doing? Cut it out immediately, and if you force me to express my displeasure in person, you will find it quite severe indeed."
Speaking as a DM, here is what a PC wizard would have to do, in my games, to get access to another wizard's spellbook:
1. Either somehow be introduced to the other wizard, perhaps via a mutual acquaintance or professional contact, or have quite a high Diplomacy score indeed, to talk their way into a meeting.
Scrying on someone without permission or warning, then showing up whenever you feel like it, would be a good way NOT to get what you want. Or anything else from that wizard, ever.
It's not facetious. Your "most advantageous method" still requires the availability of said spellbooks, which is, in fact, the core of this whole argument. You seemed to be claiming that, well, of course spellbooks are going to be available, because the game system contains the assumption that spellbooks are how wizards get spells.
But that's circular: of course wizards are going to get spells from spellbooks, because that is the cheapest method and spellbooks are available; and of course spellbooks must be available, because we're assuming that's where wizards are getting their spells.
Other than this circular, and thus invalid, line of reasoning, is there any support for the claim that wizards are assumed and expected to get all their spells from spellbooks?